Twice within the last week, I witnessed teachers that I know decline to share good teaching ideas with their colleagues. Once, it was a teacher who did not want to share the link to an activity that she'd found online with another grade level for fear that they would "steal" it from her grade level. The second instance was a fellow librarian who had second thoughts about sharing, with another librarian, an Internet Safety resource she'd created.
Both instances left me feeling uneasy. I spend a good deal of my own professional learning time thinking and reading about flat world concepts, web 2.0 tools, collaboration as a means to enhance student/self learning. This reluctance to share is disconcerting--it just doesn't fit my idea of what we're supposed to be doing as educators. AND it does not fit the paradigm of collaborative learning/teaching that our 21st century learners need to use and see being used.
Now, for the really great part of the week though. One of my goals this year is to learn to use podcasting as a way to excite students about the library. Last summer, I discovered a wonderful podcasting resource by Liz Davis, an edtech teacher in Massachusetts. I decided I'd like to adapt it for my students, so I wrote to her for permission. She was nothing but gracious and eager to share! Her email back to me really did bolster my faith in my fellow educator! Thanks so much, Liz! Not only did I find a resource that has helped me to meet one of my goals for our library program, but I've also discovered a new teacher to learn from and collaborate with! Check out her blog!
So I'm thankful for the examples that I see all over the online educators' community. Examples of resource sharing & global collaboration--there is so much out there to learn! A perfect example is coming up, starting tomorrow: K12 Online Conference! I can't wait to see what we'll learn!!!